News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Halloween 2015: A record breaker

November 1st, 2015 by Mike

Photo courtesy Marcus Donner.

What weather?

Halloween 2015 broke all records for trick-or-treating here at the Maple Leaf Dog Oasis.

Kids in costume = 232. (Adults in costume = 33. Dogs = 6.)

The previous record was set in 2013, with 152 kids.

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It’s (wet, windy, wonderful) Halloween!

October 31st, 2015 by Mike

The good news: As of 8:30 a.m. there are no power outages in Seattle, according to Seattle City Light.

The bad news, from Cliff Mass:

Total daily rainfall this morning at Maple Leaf Life South: 0.73 inches. Wind to 27 mph at 7 this morning.

Halloween forecast: wind gusts to 37 mph, 100 percent chance of up to another three/quarter inch of rain.

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Looks like an Evil (soaked, blustery) Halloween

October 30th, 2015 by Mike

Zombies got  nothing on the Halloween forecast this year.

From the National Weather Service forecast discussion for Seattle, a front moving tonight and INTO SATURDAY ACROSS THE AREA (RESULTS) IN AN 18 HOUR PERIOD OF VERY HEAVY RAINFALL IN THE MOUNTAINS AND WINDY CONDITIONS IN THE LOWLANDS.

The Maple Leaf Dog Oasis regrets this forecast.

Last Halloween the Dog Oasis reported a final tally of 144 kids,  34 adults and  13 dogs. Down slightly from 2013.

It did rain, last year, 2.06 inches from Halloween eve into Halloween.

So maybe there’s hope. Dogs! Come to the Oasis for special Halloween treats!

On the ominous hand, though, The New York Times’ front page today is full of flying chainsaws.

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“No.” Feds on $15 million for Northgate pedestrian bridge

October 27th, 2015 by Mike

Bad news for the pedestrian/bike bridge between North Seattle College and the Northgate light rail station.

The Seattle Times posted a story tonight beginning:

The federal government has decided not to contribute $15 million toward a Northgate Station pedestrian-and-bicycle bridge over Interstate 5. Local taxpayers would need to fund the entire $26 million project themselves.

Nor will Uncle Sam donate $10 million to help Seattle expand the Pronto bicycle network, which currently serves the University District, downtown and places nearby.

The Times story is here.

Earlier posts of ours are here and here.

The Times adds:

Bridge funding still remains within reach.

Sound Transit already approved $5 million, and the Legislature $10 million, along with $5 million already pledged by Seattle. That leaves a gap of $6 million.

If voters pass this fall’s $930 million Move Seattle property-tax levy, the city’s plan would allocate $15 million to Northgate, pushing it past the goal line.

As others have noted, however, that is not a firm commitment from the city.

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Home burglary reported on N.E. 88th St.

October 27th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor has posted to Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf that burglars hit a home on Northeast 88th Street and Fourth Avenue Northeast:

10/24, while at dinner our home was burglarized between 6 and  9 p.m..

How: The thieves disabled our motion-detector flood light and forced open the back window.

Police suggestions: We will be installing round dowels in all our window tracks. Also looking for anyone willing to share extra “home alarm” stickers we can stick to our windows. Might look into a video camera–or a fake one to scare people off.

What was taken: a phone, collector coins and heirloom quality jewelry. Nothing of value left behind.

Stay safe and watch out for each other.

So far this month police have reported about a half-dozen burglaries in Maple Leaf proper, including this one. Below is the map for October.

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The (re)return of the Maple Leaf coyote

October 26th, 2015 by Mike

Laure emails over the weekend:

“Pretty cool thing happening in our neighborhood: This is the second time in a week that we’ve seen a coyote in our backyard!

“The first time was last Friday at sunrise (around 7 a.m.), just passing through our yard. The second time was today while eating lunch. It was at first hiding behind the trees so we went in the back to see if it was the coyote or just the neighbor dog, and we saw it running away in the bushes just behind our house (running towards the forest west of the Sacajawea grass area). We live just next to Sacajawea school, on 17th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 96th St.

“Bring your pets inside at night, our neighbor just lost his cat and suspects now it was the coyote. The coyote looks well fed and in good health (although I’m not a vet…).

Previous coyote sightings here were in September, April and January, all of this year. That’s the January coyote in the photo.

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Seventh annual Maple Leaf Parade of Costumes is on!

October 25th, 2015 by Mike

The 2015 Maple Leaf Parade of Costumes is on!

And it’s not raining – yet. (Update 3:37 p.m. raining now.)

The seventh annual parade – which almost didn’t happen – drew at least 170 people (and four dogs) by starting time at Rick’s Chevron, Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street.

Despite the last-minute planning, this is possibly the second-biggest turnout for the parade. Congratulations to Donna Hartmann-Miller, who started and led the parade for years, and to Michelle Deang Hamilton and friends, who pulled it off this year.

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End of an era: Maple Leaf Pharmacy is closed

October 22nd, 2015 by Mike

Bill McNary, Maple Leaf Pharmacy owner, being interviewed by KING-5 in February 2010 after his pharmacy was robbed the previous December.

The Maple Leaf Pharmacy, a central fixture in the neighborhood, is closed after 27 years.

Owner Bill McNary has sold the business to Walgreens Pharmacy, and will work part time at the nearby Walgreens at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast Northgate Way.

“The whole thing is kind of bittersweet,” McNary said Thursday morning. The pharmacy closed for good Wednesday evening.

“I’ll miss my customers, although I hope most will come along with me to Walgreens. And I’m so thankful to all the people in the neighborhood who supported me.”

McNary said his database of prescriptions is being transferred to the Walgreens, and that customers should receive seamless service there.

The pharmacy  moved to its current location, at 8830 Roosevelt Way N.E., in 1996.

Geraldine Crews, pharmacy head technician who has worked with McNary for over a quarter-century, has taken a similar job with Group Health in Factoria.

McNary, who recently turned 60, said there were several factors in his deciding to sell.

“One reason is to slow down,” he said. “I’m tired of working 60 hours a week.

“Then, there’s been an increase in  regulations – an added burden to trying to take care of our customers.”

Decreasing margins in the pharmacy business cut into his ability to add staff, he said. In addition, as a compounding pharmacy, part of his business is being able to provide unique drugs to his patients, but coming new regulations there, too, will hurt.

“It will have a severe impact on our compounding business. So, economically it made made sense to sell at this time and start working just four days a week.”

From an earlier story in Maple Leaf Life:

The Maple Leaf Pharmacy also has a bit of history under its roof.

The landlord at the time bought the building in 1950, and was shot at during the many robberies that occurred.

“When we remodeled, there were bullet holes in the cabinets where shots had been fired,” Crews said. “Back then, pharmacy owners used to sleep in their stores at night because of robberies. It was much worse back then.”

In Crews’ time at the pharmacy, she has experienced seven robberies.

Other earlier stories about the pharmacy:

‘It’s a robbery! He has a gun!’

Dick Jackman, pharmacist to Maple Leaf for decades

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Parade of Costumes returns! (plus a carnival at Olympic View)

October 22nd, 2015 by Mike

Update 9 a.m. There’s a Facebook page, too.

This came overnight from Donna Hartmann-Miller:

Big kids, little kids, furry ones too – show off your costume while parading the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Rain or Shine — so dress appropriately and carry an umbrella.

The parade will start at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 25, at the north end of the parking lot at Rick’s Chevron, winding thru and trick-or-treating and ending at Maple Leaf Park. Join in the whole route or part of the route (entire route is about 1.25 miles and will hopefully take about an hour to walk, including the trick-or-treating), whatever works with your schedule, walking endurance, and the length of your legs.

If you live along the route and want to hand out treats, we ask you bring any goodies to the sidewalk so trick-or-treating can keep moving along the route. If you don’t live along the route and would like to hand out treats, meet us at the end of the parade at the park. How many participants? Plan on 150, although the weather will no doubt affect that number.

Date/Time: Sunday, October 25th, 3 p.m.

Start Point: Rick’s Chevron, Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street

End Point: Maple Leaf Park (more…)

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Let’s Move campaign takes back Maple Leaf claim

October 20th, 2015 by Mike

Here’s the original story from Oct. 9th.

In it the Let’s Move Seattle supporters of the $930 million transportation levy on next month’s ballot made this claim:

This claim is, on its face, rubbish – and @ButterflyForge, aka Laura Dodson, called them out on it.

Now KOMO TV has, too, in a story by Lindsay Cohen, posted Monday and updated today: Controversial tweet leads to questions about $1B ballot measure.

And the Let’s Move Campaign has taken it back – and taken down the claim.

“I want to clarify that tweet was not a scientific poll and by no means were we implying there is no opposition,” said Shefali Ranganathan, deputy director of the Transportation Choices Coalition. “I think what got lost — when you’re looking at a few characters on Twitter — is the context of it, and the context is really that we are reporting on what we heard from folks we’re targeting….

“It wasn’t possible to provide adequate context in a 140 character tweet. And it had become a distraction that was taking away from the substantive issues of the campaign, so we took it down.”

Actually, neither the claim nor the context seem especially complicated – just not true.

Incidentally, The Seattle Times this weekend took another critical look at the levy: Move Seattle levy: Better bus service or a bunch of ‘guesstimates’?

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A week to save the Maple Leaf Parade of Costumes?

October 19th, 2015 by Mike

It’s now less than two weeks before Halloween (Saturday, Oct. 31st) and we  have had several readers inquire:

“What about the hugely popular Parade of Costumes?”

Rachel, for example: “Hi. Do you know when the Halloween parade will be this year?”

The answer is no. At the moment there does not appear to be a plan for what would be the Seventh Annual Maple Leaf Parade of Costumes, an event that has drawn hundreds in the past.

Donna Hartmann-Miller, the ubiquitous force behind the parade for the past six years, emails that she can’t handle it this fall.

“I had put out a call for someone to take this over this year, but no one has stepped up for it. Typically it happens the Sunday before Halloween, but it would be up to the person who wants to organize it.

“If anyone contacts me, I will put it out on our email, on our Facebook page, there will probably be a poster at the park kiosk and I assume you will put it on Maple Leaf Life, yes?

“If you hear of anyone interested, they can contact me and I will tell them what was done in the past and provide whatever support I can.”

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Masked bandit sighting reported in Maple Leaf

October 19th, 2015 by Mike

John sends these images and thoughts: “5:00 a.m. Sat. 10/17 I accosted four masked prowlers apparently planning to steal something from my neighbors’ yard (grapes, I think). I’ve seen them before — a local gang. I don’t think they’re violent or dangerous — unless maybe you’re a chicken.”

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That tweet from Let’s Move Seattle was fluff not fact

October 15th, 2015 by Mike

Remember last week’s tweet from Let’s Move Seattle, supporters of the $930 million transportation levy?

Several readers wondered, “can this be true”?

In comments, Swede said: “Did they only doorbell Prius owners with Obama stickers? I would love to know what question they asked to garner 0% opposition – nearly statistically impossible.”

Swede – and several others – is correct.

The truth is this is an example of extreme – counterproductive? – spin, centering on the word “doorbelled.”

In politics, as in everyday life, “doorbelling” means going door-to-door, talking to people (and asking for their support). You find out what people (at least the ones who answer the door) think.

That’s the opposite of what Let’s Move Seattle did. We know this because of a series of tweets over the last few days, and because of @ButterflyForge, who kept at it.

If you haven’t followed this on Twitter, here’s a condensed sequence.

Original tweet from Let’s Move Seattle:”We doorbelled 600+ households in Maple Leaf this weekend. 74% support, 26% still deciding, 0% oppose.”

@ButterflyForge @LetsMoveSeattle @MapleLeafLife: “The person doing the polling talked my guy. He told her under no certain terms that he opposed it. 0%? Is that a rounding error or something like that? c’mon now, not true! Or doesn’t his opinion matter?”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @ButterflyForge @MapleLeafLife “What is this 0% poll message? Send us a message at with more details.”

@ButterflyForge: @MapleLeafLife @LetsMoveSeattle “They explained in an email that it wasn’t a poll. It was visiting homes of people who were already supportg”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @MapleLeafLife @ButterflyForge “Never suggested it was a scientific poll, or even a poll. Just happy about a good day canvassing.”

@Maple Leaf Life: @ButterflyForge @LetsMoveSeattle “Visiting homes of identified supporters and advertising it as “0 percent no? That’s downright fraudulent”

@Maple Leaf Life: @BrockRides @ButterflyForge: “So, to be clear, you didn’t randomly doorbell homes in Maple Leaf. You canvassed known supporters.”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @MapleLeafLife @ButterflyForge “of course, we believe everyone in Seattle is a ‘likely supporter.’ ;) But, yeah, we had slightly better data to think they’d be more likely than not to support the Levy. again, it was a canvass, not a poll. Standard campaogn stuff.”

Then don’t send it to us as news.

Ballots arrive this week.


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Mystery camera on 15th N.E. and N.E. 98th St.

October 14th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor emails this afternoon:

Do you guys have any information about the traffic camera (see attached photos) newly mounted today at the intersection of 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 98th Street?

It’s from a company called “All Traffic Data,” and it’s mounted onto a normal traffic sign, but extends up about 20 feet with a camera that looks like it’s pointed directly into the middle of the intersection. Is that for enforcement, or are they studying something—maybe considering a light or something?

We don’t have any information about that specific installation (but will try and get some).

All Traffic Data is a company that works in several states, including Washington, providing:

Average Daily Traffic Counts (Volume, Speed & Classification)

Turning Movement Counts (Volume & Classification)

Origin-Destination Studies (Video or Manual)

Radar Speed Studies

Gap and Delay Studies

Travel Time Delay Studies

GPS Inventory

Road Condition Inventories

Pedestrian Studies

Saturation Flow Studies

Parking Lot Studies

And Northeast 98th Street is the main connector crossing Lake City Way in that area.

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Bad news (car prowl). Good news ($5K for tool library AND a bake sale)

October 13th, 2015 by Mike

Posted today at Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf:

“Our car was broken into on Northeast 89th street between 2nd and 3rd avenues northeast last night. They just rifled through things and generally made the car smell bad (do you really need to stop and have a cigarette in my car)?

“I don’t keep anything of interest in the car although I am a little worried that they may have grabbed some personal information out of the glove box. Anyway just posting in case folks are keeping track of these sorts of things.”

Car prowls are the most common crime in Seattle. The map shows prowls reported to police here in the last month.

The good news – this press release today from the Seattle mayor’s office and the Department of Neighborhoods:

- Following the recent burglary of the NE Seattle Tool Library in Wedgwood, the City of Seattle has pledged $5,000 to help the organization rebuild its inventory. It is estimated that $10,000 in power tools was stolen sometime this past weekend.

“The Tool Library is a true asset to Seattle – a community resource, a place to learn new skills and a venue to connect with neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I encourage residents and businesses to match the City’s commitment to get this organization back on its feet.”

For more information, and to donate, click here .

Also from Nextdoor:

Brownie Troop 44405 will be having a bake sale in front of NE Tool Library (2415 N.E. 80th St.) to raise funds for the library that was robbed burglarized of many of its tools on Friday night. The girls will be selling baked goods on Sunday 10/18, 2-5 p.m..

Please mark your calendars to come by to purchase some delicious goods and/or bring tools to donate!

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